Planning successful business to business lead generation campaigns

When you are planning any B2B lead generation campaign there are 6 factors, or the 6 M's, that directly influence the outcome.

Exploring each of the 6 M's thoroughly and defining them with a high degree of accuracy and confidence will increase the chances that your B2B lead generation campaign will be a success.

Below you will find each factor explained. They are also presented in the order in which you should first go about defining them, although, after a while, you will find yourself jumping back and forth making adjustments as the later stages produce new discoveries.

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Here they are, the 6 M's of successful B2B lead generation:


Market (aka Audience)

Being able to target the correct audience is essential for successful lead generation so the first step is identifying them. There are infinite possibilities but start by selecting the market you are going after and describing your perfect customer there. Get creative because the most important factors are not always the obvious ones. Talking to potential data providers and obtaining there segmentation criteria may prove helpful.

Movement (aka Response)

The objective of every lead generation campaign is to produce a response, but what response do you want. The response you go for depends upon your audience, their buying process and the nature of your offering. It can range from the meagre (capturing an email address) to the mighty (getting a meeting). Choose what's right for you but be aware the perceived value of the response you ask for affects the incentive you must offer.

Motivation (aka Incentive)

Every response requires an incentive. The good news is, it doesn't have to cost a lot. The value of the incentive you offer has to be proportionate to the response you want in return. For lower value responses, capturing email addresses for example, information is a perfectly good incentive, as long as it is high quality. For 'larger' responses, committing to a demo for example, a free gift may be required. If you are offering a free trial or a special promotion, the response itself can be the incentive.

Mediums

Mediums are the methods of communication that you will use to transmit your incentive/response offer to your audience. Again, the right choice depends on your audience and the greater the degree to which you have defined them, the better. Put yourself in their shoes and decide which forms of communication are most likely to reach you, create the best reaction and illicit the desired response. The appropriate choice takes into account current awareness, working environment, technology adoption, and provides easy ways to respond.

Message

Having defined your audience, response, incentive and mediums you are ready to develop your message. How are you going to convince your prospect to take the specific action you want them too? Get to the point quick, supply evidence that builds trust and make the call to action obvious. Provide multiple channels of response (including phone, email, landing page, QR code, etc.). Spend time refining the wording of your headline, subject line (if relevant) and call to action as these three points can have a significant impact on campaign success.

Measurement

At every stage of the above process, whilst making creative choices, you should be running numbers that enable you to see what the likely return on investment is likely to be. And every time you change anything at any stage, you must update your numbers to that they reflect the real situation. Your ROI calculations need to take into account:

  • How many direct message you will send in each medium
  • The expected performance of each medium in terms of opens, clicks and responses
  • The number of complete conversions you should see
  • The cost of each conversion, i.e. the cost of the incentive
  • Fulfillment costs, i.e. printing, postage, email sending and telephone calls
  • Historically conversion ratio from response to sale
  • Average value of each sale

With all this information in a spread sheet, you will be able to calculate the overall cost of your campaign versus the revenue and profit it should generate.

You're ready

With all this information at hand you are ready to brief your agency or team to execute the campaign. We've been in marketing long enough however to know that lead generation is a challenging area that rarely runs completely smoothly, especially early on. That said, to be prepared for this is to learn quickest from setbacks and to enjoy successes all the more. To minimise your pain, run a pilot campaign to smaller audience first to test your strategy and discover your normal performance metrics so that, when you do run the big one, you are more likely to generate big results.

Inbound marketing campaign checklist

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